Zerg Reaper Counter

In this article, I will be giving several methods to execute a Zerg Reaper counter. In particular, I am referring to the very popular 5 Rax Reaper build which most Terrans enjoy using versus Zerg players.

In this article, I will discuss viable tactics for Zerg players to counter the mass Reaper strategy. 

Opening Build Order for the Zerg Reaper Counter:

- 9/10 - Overlord
- 14/18 - Extractor
- 13/18 - Spawning Pool
- 16/18 - Hatchery

..then continue to produce Queens and Zerglings. Flesh out the Drones at your main expansion and get a Roach Warren around 25ish supplies (will want 2 Queens and a Dozen Speedlings prior to getting Roaches).

By the way, here is a replay demonstrating another method of how to stop mass Reapers, along with some related commentary from myself describing the key points in the video.

Speedlings can hold off a few Reapers, but by the time Terran player is able to pump out 4 or 5 Reapers, you will need Roaches.

This is a variation of the typical Zerg Fast Expand strategy that involves getting an early Extractor. This early Vespene Gas will allow you to get the Metabolic Boost upgrade for your Zerglings very early.

Now, with your Zerglings and Queens, you want to be sure to throw down Creep Tumors all over your base, and connect your main and expansion as fast as possible. Do this much earlier than you would do in a normal game.

Why so much creep? Speedlings move very fast across Creep (even significantly faster than Reapers with Nitro Packs). This will allow your Speedlings to be able to surround small groups of Reapers so your Queens can help take them out.

A good Terran player will start harassing with about 4 Reapers, so you need to get your Creep spread pretty much as soon as your first expansion is finishing so that you can defend both bases from a Reaper harass.

Speedlings will do just fine versus early Reapers (less than 4). Once the Terran player gets 3 Barracks up (use your Overlord to scout - Reapers cannot attack air units) and starts pumping out massive Reapers, you need to get Roaches.

Roaches on Creep will hold off a moderate sized Reaper assault (5-10 Reapers), especially with some Speedling and Queen assistance to round them up. You cannot get just Speedlings as larger packs of Reapers will be able to kill them incredibly quickly.

At this point, your job is nothing other than to hold off Reapers while you get a Lair and flesh out your Drones at both bases. You need to get a Lair for the Roach speed upgrade and either an Infestation Pit or Spire.

If your micro is really bad, a few Spine Crawlers can help buy you some time to shift around units. Keep spreading your Creep as well so you can move your units between your main entrance and your expansion quickly. Additionally, have 2-3 Queens at each base to protect from Queen sniping.

Now, whether you go for Mutalisks or Infestors/Banelings depends on your enemy's build. If he opts to add Tanks and heavy Marauders, opt for a mass-Mutalisk attack (12ish) and you should be able to swiftly take out your opponent before he can respond.

If your opponent goes the MMM route and gets a lot of Marines, you will be better off opting for a lot of Banelings and Infestors with some Roach and Speedling back up. Infestors drop Fungal Growth (which roots and weakens Infantry groups), and then Infestors can roll right in and blow up the rooted groups of units. This is a very effective technique.


This is the best way to execute a Zerg Reaper counter. You will want to grab an early expansion as usual, spread the Creep around, build extra Queens, and upgrade speed on both Zerglings and Roaches so that you can quickly move units and outpace the speed of Reapers.